The Newsroom: “News Night with Will McAvoy”


One tequila, two tequila, three tequila…Maggie’s coping mechanism is revealed.

I cannot say that I will be reviewing every week’s episode of The Newsroom; in fact, I would say that the likelihood of such an occurrence is slim to none.  But, given that we have yet to discuss The Newsroom at all (granted, this blog has been up and running for a mere three days), I find that it is appropriate to comment on this week’s episode.

I want to like The Newsroom; I really, really do.  I am and have been for quite some time an Aaron Sorkin fan.  I say without reservation that The American President is my favorite movie.  I watched and loved Sports Night.  And, I just spent the last 5 weeks watching every episode of West Wing like it was my job.  Here is my problem though:  The Newsroom is never as good as any of these aforementioned shows and, thus, I continuously do not have my expectations met.  This has left me weary.

Take this week’s episode for instance.  Will spends the entire episode on the air of News Night, which is usually a highlight (admittedly, I am a sucker for a Sorkin monologue).  But, instead of letting Will shine in this environment, the plot is bogged down by two story lines that do nothing for me–Will’s father dying and Will’s twitter-gate.  Part of the reason I cannot bring myself to care about such things is that because Will has been portrayed as such a ego-maniac, it is hard for me to feel sorry for him.  And, given everything we know about him so far, I do not find it hard to believe that he was rude to some random woman (actually, I find it more difficult to believe that Will is ever nice to anyone).  So, Mr. McAvoy, I cannot find it in my heart to feel bad for the fact that someone is calling you out on some d-bag-i-ness that more than likely occurred.  Now, as far as your father is concerned, it sucks.  I can understand that.  But, again, I just can’t bring myself to feel any emotion for you given the unsympathetic nature of the way your character is repeatedly written.

My second issue with this week’s episode is the portrayal of Sloane.  Now, Sloane is by far my favorite character on this show  I say that without reservation.  I love her kick-ass, take-charge, straight-shooting attitude mixed-in with an awkwardness that another admittedly awkward person (namely, myself) can enjoy.  And, I seriously cheered out-loud when she punched that d-bag in the face.  But, when is the show going to stop having their female leads screw-up?  Can we not have an episode where one of the female characters is not bumbling through their love life?  I know that the story line of Sloane’s mistake is a good bridge for her and Don to further their relationship, and maybe (although doubtful) I will forget that the entire first season of the show wasn’t jamming down our throats that Don is a “bad guy,” but it sure would be nice to see none of the female characters having a monumental screw-up each episode so that a knight in shining armor can come save her.  That’s all I am saying.

I think that is enough of my soapbox for a night.  And, I do not mean to seem over-critical of this show (a show that I watch every week).  But, all of this comes from a place of love.  I simply want this show to be as good as it could be.  With all that is good on television right now, I do not think that is too much to ask.

Other musings:

  • I know this has been discussed ad nauseam on the inter-webz today, but I spent a good portion of the episode trying to figure out why Maggie’s hair was long and blonde again.  I have my question answered (see,101017/ for example), but here is another:  Should the show be concerned that this many individuals were confused about the timeline of the episodes and spent this much time worried about when Maggie gets a haircut?
  • Despite the hair conundrum, I thought Maggie’s story line this week was much better than it has been.  I think the fact that she is drinking to hide her pain is much more believable and less silly than her sudden decision to cut off her hair, which up until now, was the only effect of the Africa trip that we had seen.  I also did enjoy Maggie’s tirade on “what’s wrong with being a slut,” but again I am a sucker for a good monologue.
  • Does it really take that long for a download?